December 03, 2004 06:32:47am
Column:Fleeing liberals find cold comfort
By Dustin Habermann
Published: Thursday, December 2, 2004
I hate the cold.
If given the choice of extreme temperatures for my execution, I would favor being burned alive over being frozen to death. Granted with the frozen-to-death option, I could conceivably be preserved and eventually cloned. The burning option would only leave me to serve in Hannibal Lector's pepper shaker.
In serious hypothetical matters such as these, personal taste takes the helm over logic. I relish sleeveless shirts, not just to show off my minuscule and pasty biceps, but because thermal underwear chafes.
This is why I can't ever see myself moving to Sweden.
Expatriation is never simple. There's paperwork, diplomats, more paperwork, pesky acquisitions of new languages, Band-Aids for papercuts from said paperwork and the metric system. But over 100,000 disappointed Democrats found themselves sadly browsing the Canadian Web site on Nov. 3, willing to face insurmountable stacks of income tax forms, mounties and maple syrup rather than deal with another four years of lies, homophobia and Dick Cheney's sex appeal.
Not wanting to leave their progressive American comrades in dire straits, hundreds of Canadians even signed up on a satirical site pledging to do their part to marry an American. Promising that "no good American will be left behind," Marryanamerican.ca boasted over 750,000 page views, the majority of which came after the election.
Though official numbers on the amount of expatriates from post-election America won't be in for another six months, the desire is quite understandable. But is expatriation the real answer for fed-up progressive Americans?
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where you stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where you stand in times of challenge and controversy." From the progressive viewpoint, America stands in one of her darkest hours, and to abandon her in her time of greatest need would be treasonous beyond Ann Coulter's illiterate accusations.
But let's just say things get bad. Real bad.
Canada is nice. Besides the nationalized health care and fewer gun deaths per capita than the United States, there's the higher literacy rate and better French cuisine. Unfortunately, Canadians have a lower average gross domestic product, higher unemployment, Bryan Adams, and it's really freakin' cold.
According to the United Nations' combined Human Development Index, a measurement of quality of life, Norway and Sweden ranked first and second out of 175 countries in 2004. Besides the corruption-free government, the healthy balance of capitalist and socialist economies and the natural beauty of Nordic peoples, these countries are also very freakin' cold.
Japan is also high on the U.N.'s best countries list. Besides the mixed blessings of karaoke, Japan boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world among industrialized nations, a high life-expectancy rate, low unemployment and a high literacy rate. Unfortunately, not everyone likes karaoke, there's sushi that could kill you, Japanese is hard to learn, and it is oftentimes pretty freakin' cold.
The list goes on: Finland? Cold. Belgium? Cold. Iceland? Really cold. Ireland? Cold and completely devoid of snakes. The United Kingdom? Cold and Tony Blair.
It seems to enjoy a high quality of life without insane-troll logic leading the country, one must deal with arctic temperatures. Clearly I missed a memo somewhere.
Perhaps progressives parting with the United States could consider other qualities in selecting their new homeland. For example, the No. 1 country in the world for worshiping cats is still Egypt, and life is always good as a cow in India. Bulgaria has some fantastic female choirs and Thailand serves the best damn food on the planet.
Papimento speakers will feel right at home in Aruba, along with those twisted folks who enjoy pristine beaches and relaxing tropical climates.
Exciting as they are, all of these facets aren't enough if you're like me. Besides the lying politicians and corrupt governments, there are a few things that will always be constant about America: It's occasionally warm, and you can drink the water if you don't mind a bit of arsenic.
Besides, Cheney's twisted little smile always did have kind of a charming, boyish appeal.